Nigeria reschedules Presidential elections, other polls

Presidential elections scheduled for April 9 will now be on held on April 16.

Last Updated: Apr 03, 2011, 22:18 PM IST

Abuja: Nigeria on Sunday postponed its
Presidential elections, scheduled to be held on April 9 by
seven days amid harsh criticism after its election body failed
to conduct parliamentary polls slated for April 2 due to lack
of preparation.

Nigeria has rescheduled all elections after logistic
forced it to put off a national assembly polls earlier billed
for April 2, sources at the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) in the nation`s capital, Abuja said.

With the new rescheduling, the presidential elections
which were to be held next Saturday will now be on held on
April 16 while the national assembly polls will now take place
on April 9.

The elections to elect influential 36 state governors
will be held on April 26.

The official source said an announcement will be made
later regarding the rescheduling.

Nigerians turned up in large numbers yesterday to vote
for the federal parliamentarians comprising two houses; the
senate and the lower house of assembly but the chairman of
INEC, Attahiru Jega announced over the television that a
vendor could not deliver most of the materials for the polls.

He rescheduled the polls for Monday, April 4.
"A vendor was supposed to deliver the electoral
materials and we had confidence in him but he did not deliver
by Thursday citing the problem of aircraft diversions in
Japan," Jega said with lots of apology.

With the new schedule, restriction of movement earlier
announced by the government for Monday has been lifted.

Nigeria, an oil rich country and Africa`s largest
democracy with a population of 150 million, returned to
democratic rule in 1999 after many years of military incursion
in governance.

It is the third time general elections are being held
in Nigeria since military rule ended.

The previous ones - in 2003 and 2007 - were marred by
allegations of widespread rigging, voter intimidation and
ballot vote snatching.

PTI